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A District’s Five-Phase Process

The Aurora Public Schools adopted a five-phase process for community/school district disaster recovery.

Phase 1: Immediate Response

  • Develop main messages
  • Offer district buildings as support sites
  • Communicate to district families and highlight support programs

Phase 2: Preparation for School

  • Collaborate with city and community agencies
  • Coordinate/communicate district-related memorial services
  • Develop community resource website
  • Develop personal outreach to all district staff, students, families and community members
  • Coordinate and promote parent support meetings
  • Offer training to teachers on discussing tragedy with students
  • Develop grade-specific talking points for teachers for first day

Phase 3: Start of School

  • Identify a coordinator and committee for managing disaster recovery efforts
  • Have psychologists and counselors on call for students and staff
  • Place substitute teachers on call in all schools
  • Offer additional community meetings

Phase 4: Ongoing Support

  • Conduct needs assessment with community partners
  • Assess needs of principals, staff, students and families
  • Develop resources to address needs
  • Develop resource workshops and recurring professional development
  • Focus on prevention

Phase 5: Commemoration

  • Develop an event to preserve memories and restore what is important
  • Engage students in the process
  • Include symbolic activities
  • Anticipate student stress
  • Highlight importance of self-care.


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